Throwback Thursday

More 1,000 word fiction for you – I hope you enjoy!

 

Looking back it was obvious from the start.

This was never going to work.  Which was why I wanted to do it.

Like my friend who had a baby because the timing was so wrong – it sounded stupid, ridiculous, wreck less even at the time but now – it seems like it was the best thing she has ever done.

For me – I bought a one way ticket to a city that didn’t know my name.  No one knew me name. And that is what the appeal was.  I was running away from a life I no longer wanted but one I didn’t know how to break up with properly – I mean can you even break up from your own life? It was like I had to let go of the girl that I had been forced to be my whole childhood so I could become the woman I was meant to be the woman that I knew was – the woman that had always been there but hidden from view.

I could never be myself at home because I was always shouted down – I was told no far more than I was told yes.  I think that’s why even today, my default is on the negative.  I am a positive person for life and for others but for myself I am lost – sometimes I just don’t know.

So I did what anyone does when they don’t know what to do – well you have two choices – bury your head in the sand or run away.  Yeah, yeah some would say you could just deal with it but yeah right whoever does that – they don’t even do that in the films! They run.

So I ran.

Well I sauntered in my heels to the nearest train station – with two bags packed.  And I got on the train with my one way ticket feeling really proud of myself.

I looked at my suitcases.  One was full of books and writing paper and the other was full of clothes and one pair of shoes and somewhere in there I had managed to get my hair straightener – you know – the essentials.  It suddenly seemed daft – how was I going to be able to accessorise properly with just one suitcase of clothes, I was going to have to get a job fast…..there was of course that little issue of rent and bills but hey…….

I was a country bumpkin – I think – at the risk of annoying other country folk that when you have grown up in the country it gives you a certain naivety that you don’t’ have if you grew up in the city and I seemed to have held on to that into my adulthood.  I felt about 5 years less experienced in everything than city folk of my age, hell I was still scared to get the tube and still bought a travel pass instead of a single ticket just in case I got lost.

I got to Paddington far too quickly as I was starting to panic a little bit.

I had a number to call to view two properties that were ready to be moved into straight away.

It was then I realised I had no duvet.  I was an idiot.  But hey I was in the city.

The second flat was the one I chose – the first was nicer but the owner, who lived there, was a sleaze.  I swear there were holes drilled into the bathroom wall – I was glad I had been told to look out for such things but yuk how gross!

This flat was lovely – it was airy but my room was small.  I thought it would encourage me to get to know my  flatmates more as I would be forced to hang out in the communal space and not hide in my room.  I was wrong – they were horrid – I camped out in my room.

I job searched for two weeks and thankfully found a little office job – the money was not going to roll in as such but trickle slowly to my feet.

It meant I could eat, all be it sometimes just instant noodles, but my rent was paid, I had my mobile phone and the internet and the rest I would wing until I could get a pay rise.  I was so optimistic.

I went out for lunch with some girls from work and slowly got close to one or two of them.  I met some people through them and they introduced me to more.  My wardrobe was suffering – I needed more money.

That’s when I decided to try the local bar.

It was ridiculous – I was trying to hold down two jobs – one all day and one way into the night – I was looking longingly at the sales and tried to stay awake during the day.  Twice I had been caught with my eyes shut for far too long.  I was exhausted.  My flat mates stunk….literally and I was penniless.

But I was in the city – all my dreams felt that little bit closer to coming true.

Although I was single and living in a shared house that I hated the inhabitants of I still felt happy.  I shut myself off from the rest of the world and started to write.

I had tried to get away from being the bookworm and be the party girl but I knew it was never going to work.  There was nothing wrong with being a homebody and I decided to embrace it fully.

My stereo was loud enough to block out the housemates so I pretended I was living in my own place, somewhere a little more tropical than Walthamstow.  I wrote, and wrote and I wrote some more.

I then hauled myself to all sorts of publishers and agents and bam – I got published!!! Just like that.

So you see – being in the city and taking a risk it’s all paid off.  Looking back that bad move was the best move I ever made.

Advertisements

Story time

So I have been super busy – but here is a belated story about thing to do in London wrapped up in a little tale.

I am so tired, too tired, I don’t know if I can go on – this is too much – it’s way too much to ask of one person – I don’t know how anyone could be expected to do this – especially someone in my condition.

I was out Christmas shopping with my best friend and I had heels on for goodness sake.  This girl was a masochist.  This girl was also my best friend.  But come on there were limits.  I had been out for 5 hours now.  One shop after another, after another – then back again and because it was so much fun the first time.

I like to order online – it’s pain free (well, until you get the credit card bill) and it’s devoid of horrible stinky changing rooms, the clothes they send you don’t normally have lipstick smears all down them and when you can’t fit into that size 10 no one but you and your mirror knows.

My friend had it all wrong.  But then she would never not fit into a size 10.

My eyes wondered back to the cake store.  This is why I sometimes didn’t fit into a size 10.

Jolie called my name.  Again.  Apparently she had been screaming my name for some time from the fitting room, needing a second opinion…..why I am not quite sure – it’s not like she bothers to listen to me.  She’ll buy what she wants anyway…..actually it might be nice if she just bought something – 5 hours of shopping and not one shopping bag between us – this was getting beyond pathetic.

When I called Jolie out on this she huffed and threw the dress she was going to put back onto the cashiers counter and glared at me as she handed over her gold card.

‘Happy now’ she snapped.

It was definitely time for cake.

I steered her towards the cake store, stomping and moaning.  Until she saw the window display ‘Oooooooooo…..can I have a lick of yours?’ to anyone else this would sound weird- to me it was usual.  Jolie was a model.  She was gorgeous.  She barely ate.  No one is perfect though ay.

So I sat their stuffing my face whilst she looked at my cream swirl with longing.

I smiled, pastry and cream everywhere.

‘Dawn, you are just gross.’ Laughed my best friend.  She always knew how to make me feel good about myself.

‘I’m done with shopping here, let’s go somewhere more fun.’

I rolled my eyes – I knew she meant more shopping and not to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park – I had even tried to convince her all other tube lines were down and that was the only place we could get too, funnily she didn’t fall for it.

She didn’t like my suggestion of the southbank either.  It was followed by a noise and ‘People! Too many people.’ She didn’t care for the german market, the lovely hot chocolate or the roasted brazil nuts, couldn’t care less about the street performers, the only thing that had her swayed was the fairy lights but then she had plenty of those at home.

We tried the ice skating at the national history museum and that ended up with me twisting my ankle and almost calling a halt to the Christmas shopping expedition we were on today.  Jolie of course crashed into the most handsome man and ended up going out for drinks with him that night leaving me to suck on salted liquorice (who, why?) at the Finnish pop up market.

I tried in vain to get her to the London Chocolate Festival but yeah – you remember me saying she’s a model – that went down well.

Then I saw the sign of all signs – The Crick Crack Club’s Festival of Fairy Tales for Grown Ups.  Now how was I going to sell this to Jolie.  Fairy Tales and men rarely went hand in hand, I could say it was a story reading for grown ups but even I wouldn’t go to that and I was the book worm.  Maybe I could sell it on the crack club terms – well she is a model – they do drugs right?

I sighed.  I saw Jolie looking at some shoes.

Stroking some shoes.  A man’s hand.  Hey up this was a bit forward.  Then I saw it was Jimmy.  She could not stay away from this ars…..oh her ex boyfriend.  I had to keep my feelings about him to myself because every time there was a crisis and every time they split up I went to say what I felt but then two minutes later they were madly in love again.  He was a pig and I hated him.  My best friend deserved so much better but she saw something I didn’t – and not just him with no clothes on which thankfully I didn’t ever see, no I never had, no that time I barged into their room not knowing they were together has been erased from my memory, blocked out from the horror.  I saw nothing and that is the story I was sticking too, although maybe it gave me a hint as to why she kept going back to him – but that’s Jolie – rather fickle at times.

I sighed.  Then smiled, now I could go to this Crack Club by myself….oh, that bit didn’t sound so fun…..I quietly crept away.  I looked back at the cake shop.  One more wouldn’t hurt…………..

Things to see and do!

The illumination of Syon park is short but sweet – as in it’s only open for a couple of weekends a year and this is the last weekend – and it’s lovely – you really should go – the walk is just over 1 mile and then there is a lovely light show to round off.  There’s a café and BBQ going to help you keep warm.

£7 entrance fee!

http://www.syonpark.co.uk/

 

There is a free puppet making workshop for young people at the Rose Lipman Building which is FREE!!

If you fancy a bit of Music then head to the Spitalfields Music Winter Festival.  There is music on Friday and Sunday and a circus on the Saturday and the Christmas lights will be switched on.

 

And to keep with the Christmas theme there will be a Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden on Saturday from 11am

 

If all this wasn’t sweet enough Brixton’s Chocolate Museum will host a very chocolate themed Christmas Fair from  11 – 7 and it is FREE!

If you’ve had enough of Christmas (weirdo) then the Hackney Picturehouse will be showing Annie Hall to celebrate Woody Allen – this starts at 6pm and is £20, there’s a live show going on with other people there too so it’s not just the film!

And if you want it all then Ruislip Lido will be offering fireworks, a funfair and refreshments – it kicks off a 3 (I sure hope the fireworks don’t though) and it’s FREE!

Bust Magazine will be at the York Hall in Bethnal Green and there will be over 65 stalls of handmade goodies – Sunday 12 – 5pm for the cost of just £2 admittance

Tuesday is for treats

And if you live in London get yourself to Udderlicious in Islington.

Lovely fresh healthy ice cream – (well natural ingredients in nearly all the ice cream so that’s healthy enough for me).  And there is a swing inside the shop.

It’s lovely! And a perfect little treat whilst out with friends.

Image

Image

 

I had a fabulous weekend of being girly with my bestie.

And putting up the Christmas tree on 1st December seemed like a must – so I treated myself to a few new decorations.  Wondering around Christmas shops this early is actually really nice – everything is sparkly and fairy lights are everywhere and people are not in too large a quantity so thumbs up all round!!

Image

 

And if you are on a tiny budget – you can still treat yourself to something cute and magical.

Fairy wand ice cubes – £3 from Tiger.

Image

It’s Friday hooray..yippee and all of that!

So what are you all up to this weekend?
I have friends coming to stay and will be making sure Christmas is started off nicely – there will be trips to christmas stores, illuminated gardens, christmas wonderlands, lots of food and laughter – I can’t wait!

If you don’t know what you are up to yet – try any of these:

Illuminated festive trail around Kew Gardens after dark – £12.50 and is running until 4th January

http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/whats-on/christmas/illuminated-trail/

London Illustration Fair

www.thelondonillustrationfair.co.uk/

Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park – an illuminated trail set out amongst the garden – apparently it is purely magical which sounds good enough to me!

http://www.enchantedwoodland.com/

5

Winter Wonderland – To really get you in the Christmas spirit head down to Hyde park there will be stalls, food, entertainment, Christmas gifts a plenty!

http://www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com

winter-wonderland

The Independent Records Market – Records and Beer – a great combination – just don’t spill anything!

http://www.bangonpr.com/campaigns/event/independent-label-market-2013

London Feminist Film Festival – Films and talks at the Hackney Picture house

http://londonfeministfilmfestival.com/

Frock Me Vintage Fair, Chelsea Town Hall – lots of vintage lovelies!

www.frockmevintagefashion.com

426026_0_frock-me-vintage-fashion-fair_400

Dalston Christmas Market – It calls itself the most glamorous Christmas market…so there you go!!!

http://www.cityshowcasemarkets.com/dalston/dalson-christmas-market

Santa Paws Grotto – London’s first Santa’s grotto for dogs!  So if your doglet has been good this year you should call Lily’s kitchen on 020 7433 1863 for more info!

http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2013/11/18/christmas-grotto-for-dogs/

Santa-Paws-Grotto-1024x1024

Friday is here again!

So what to do, what to do – my kid brother’s band Jet Pack have been added to the wonderful Soccer Six Rock event taking place today: It’s £10 – you should go!

https://www.facebook.com/SoccerSixRock

Soccer-Six-Rock

http://soccersix2013.com/rock-metal/

Also on tonight is a birthday party/leaving party/gig for Complete Radio Silence

http://www.scarstudios.com/home/

https://en-gb.facebook.com/completeradiosilence

IMG00062-20110304-1053

And because it’s getting cold and feeling Christmassy:

The Southbank centre Christmas market is on http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/winter-festival/markets

2572

Natural history museum ice rink is open

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/ice-rink/

displaymedia

Regent street lights are now switched on

And for when you get peckish – the BBC good food show – yeah there will be food!

http://www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com/

Large Hadron Collider Exhibition, Science Museum in South Kensington.  Step inside the world’s greatest experiment.  I don’t think anymore needs to be said!

http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/Plan_your_visit/exhibitions/collider.aspx

Beautiful Crime Concept – Lulu Guinness, WC2E 9DH  Lulu is opening a pop up art store in her covent garden shop in connection with the artwork of contemporary art company Beautiful crime

http://www.culturecompass.co.uk/2013/11/13/lulu-guinness-collaborates-with-beautiful-crime-for-art-concept-store/

framed-film-festival-anina-barbican

 

Framed Film Festival at the Barbican – £5 – Young film makers with events and creative opportunities – for under 12’s and teenagers, you can learn about animation techniques in free workshops – makes me wish I could be a kid again!

https://www.barbican.org.uk/film/series.asp?ID=1272

Friday/Funday/Fings to do!

Lord Mayor’s Show – 3 miles with over 6000 people with floats to um well float your boat I guess.

http://www.lordmayorsshow.org/

Spirit of Christmas at Olympia from 5 – 10th November – lots of gifts and treats and bits and bobs in the theme of Christmas

http://www.spiritofchristmasfair.co.uk/

Victoriana – The Art of Revival at the Guildhall Art Gallery which is running until 8 December

http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visiting-the-city/attractions-museums-and-galleries/guildhall-art-gallery-and-roman-amphitheatre/Pages/victoriana.aspx

World Press Photo Exhibition is on at the Royal Festival Hall until 26th November covering photo journalism.  Many countries compete in this competition.

http://www.worldpressphoto.org/

If you are sick of looking at things and want to taste then the Experimental Food Society Spectacular might be more your thing.

http://www.experimentalfoodsociety.com/society.html

And in the spirit of all things Christmassy the lights will be switched on at various venues across London tomorrow – go on you humbug you know you want to be there!  There being Covent Garden, Regent Street and the Duke of York Square.  Christmas is around the corner – embrace it ;o)

http://www.visitlondon.com/tag/christmas-lights

Discover Dogs is on at Earls Court on Saturday and Sunday.  This is a family show to introduce you to hundreds of breeds of dogs, some that you won’t have heard of, you’ll be able to look at lots of dogs, ask questions, watch races and see competitions.

http://www.discoverdogs.org.uk/

Image

Tis Friday I do believe!

Whoop Whoop – it’s friday again – how does it come by so fast….and yet, pay day still seems to take a million years to come around.

Having looked at my bank balance and then given myself a fright of how close it is until Christmas and how many goodies I need to buy I think I will be hibernating – and then hyperventalating at how crowded the shops have become.

Anyway – for those of you London folk wanting things to do this weekend…..

 

Made London at One Marylebone

http://www.madelondon.org/

This is a contemporary design fair – now in its second year – lovely original works from glass works to textiles to ceramics.  So if you are creative or have a creative flare or want ideas if you are home decorating then this is the place to be!

 

Affordable Art Fair at Battersea Park

http://affordableartfair.com/battersea/Anything from £40 to £4,000 bad yourself a bargain – maybe or just check out some art work

Image

Halloween Movie Mash Up Weekend at the Portobello Pop Up Cinema

http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/event/32712634-halloween-movie-mash-up-weekend-at-the-portobello-pop-up-cinema

Classics such as the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Nightmare on Elm Street will be showing, I hear there will also be apple bobbing and pumpkin carving going on as well!

 Image

Belle’s Vintage Wedding Fair at Spitalfields Market – this Saturday

http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/belles-vintage-wedding-fair-old-spitalfields-market-london/

Vintage wedding dresses a plenty for inspiration as well as cake makers and dressmakers – pretty much anything you need to make a vintage themed wedding happen!

 Image

Behind the Boosh – Photography by Dave Brown at Proud Gallery

http://www.timeout.com/london/comedy/behind-the-boosh-see-our-exclusive-pictures

Dave Brown was Bollo the Gorilla in the Mighty Boosh and he has captured the time in images of behind the scenes giving you a glimpse into their world.

Image

Two War Photography Exhinitions as the Imperial War Museum

http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london

Fully capturing the horrors of war.  Humbling.

London International Animation Festival begins on Friday at Barbican Cinemas.

http://www.liaf.org.uk/

Animation for kids, sci-fi and documentaries from around the world!

 

London Comic Con at Excel is on featuring all things comic-y and geeky-y!

http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/london/

£10 for adults and £6 for kiddies.

 Image

 

 

It’s Friday! (screamed like Noddy Holder)

Hackney Picturehouse – The Punk Singer – A documentary about the highly influential musician and fanzine lady Kathleen Hanna.  There are three dates for London showings of this documentary – tickets are selling fast so make sure you don’t miss out!

https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=punk-singer

kathleen-hanna-crop

Bloomsbury Festival – there will be a little bit of everything here, music, entertainment…..can’t guarantee the sun but you can always hope.

http://bloomsburyfestival.org.uk/

Animal Art Fair – Pop up art gallery about animals, known as one of the best places to buy animal art!

IMG_0433_large

http://www.animalartfair.com/

Home Movie day – Kennington – Benjamin Brittens home movies will be screened.

Tea and cake will also be available!

http://www.homemovieday.com/london.html

Salon du chocolat – well as you can expect this event is going to be a little bit chocolatey!  It is in fact the worlds largest chocolate show. Sweet. Oh ok bad joke!

http://www.salonduchocolat.co.uk/accueil.aspx

Laam+Salon+Du+Chocolat+Opening+Night+3DL-yWkLAGil

British Horror Film Festival – if all that chocolate is too sickly for you then try this! Bigger, better and bloodier…apparently!

http://www.thefilmfestivalguild.com/#!british-horror-film-festival/c23ct

Goat Grazing Fun Day – live goats graze the wild flowers of the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof – only in London ay!

http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/goat-grazing-fun-day-79295

Oxjam – music festival – check out the link below to see all the acts that will be playing.

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/oxjam

The Other Art Fair – guess what – this is about art!

http://www.theotherartfair.com/

Knit Nation – in celebration of wool week! Who knew – but then it is starting to hit jumper season! Knitting classes will be held which could give you some ideas for gifts this Christmas.

http://www.campaignforwool.org/event-item/knit-nation/

knitnation12

Battle of Ideas.  Is 10 too young to be a criminal? Are graphic novels literature for the 21st century? If you want to hear what people think to such questions then check out the link below.

http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/

 

Whatever you do this weekend have lots of fun and let’s hope it takes ages for Monday to come back around again!

Friday!!!!

Image

And here we are – it is Friday again and for some of us it is not just Friday but we have a few pennies to spend – so I will be hitting the bar straight after work and no doubt nursing my head for a while on Saturday.   If you are staying in tonight then the showing of Alan Carr that I went to see is on so what more could you want to do than watch Alan Carr and see if you can spot my ugly mug.

After dark at the (London) aquarium – the museums after dark was a hit and I think this wold be far more fun – go and see all the fishes all illuminated.

https://sealifeafterdark.eventbrite.co.uk/

 Image

Oktoberfest in Shoreditch – 3,000 people drinking and eating over a few parks – sort of sounds like a mini London on a typical evening to me.

http://www.london-oktoberfest.co.uk/

 

London Tattoo Convention – to try to explain this seems daft – there will be inking going on and many inked people.  Bands will be playing at the 9th annual event and there will be food and drink – just don’t get drunk and get a tattoo – pretty much my one of my few rules in life

http://www.thelondontattooconvention.com/

 Image

Wedding Show – maybe one more for the ladies – but it’s the national wedding show in London at earls court this weekend.  Lots of white, cream and frills and lots of brides in one room – I know it’s wrong but that sort of puts some fear in me.  Make sure you wear fixing spray on your make up ladies!

http://london.nationalweddingshow.co.uk/page/view/home

 Image

Walk London – Autumn Ambles – get out and about – explore London – get some exercise – meet people!

http://www.walklondon.org.uk/

 

Victorian Carnival Kings Cross – Kings cross square is going to turn into a space of a Victorian carnival complete with fairground rides and street entertainers.

http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/detail.php?uid=34827

 Image

Wimbledon Book Festival – Books are awesome – enough said!  There is a whole host of authors and activities going on – check it out:

http://www.wimbledonbookfest.org/

 

Astronomy Photographer of the Year – FREE – this is an awesome display of amazing astronomy photos at the Royal Observatory and it’s all at my favourite price!

http://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/astronomy-photographer-of-the-year/

 

Tonight the Pixies play Electric, Brixton and Shonen Knife play Dingwalls on Saturday

 

And if you want to go and dance the night away I would recommend:
Jubilee Club at the Barfly in Camden run by the lovely Chris McCormack and Carl Barat http://www.jubileeclub.com/Jubilee/This_Week.html

Image

or you could pop over to Popstarz http://www.popstarz.org/ and go say hi to the gorgeous Jess.

Image